My Philosophies about Exercise

When it comes to exercise some of my main beliefs include –

  • Participation – Everyone should be doing exercise in some form and ideally something everyday. Your body hates not moving, it hates it with a passion. Your mind on the other hand…may be a different story.
  • Age – Forget the age excuse, everyone should be doing exercise in some form whether 9 years old or 90. I once helped an 88 year old double his walking speed, from very slow to slow. But still, the numbers on the treadmill dont lie. He doubled his speed which improved the quality of his life.
  • What Exercise Really Is – Forget being stuffed in a room like a battery chicken or 30 minutes walking on a treadmill. Exercise can come in so many forms everyone canl find something they enjoy. This may involve a gym or it could involve simply doing exercise infront of the TV. It could involve jogging or may involve you sitting on a tennis ball.
  • The 6 Types of Exercise – Assuming your main goals are to get fit, get in shape and feel good then exercise can be broken down into 6 different methods to use. Half of these can be done sitting infront of the TV, so really there is no excuse to not be doing something everyday. The other three are more traditional views of exercise such as aerobic and resistance training.
  • Aerobic training / cardio – The goal of aerobic training is to get fitter and enjoy the process of doing this. Therefore the focus is on intensity and not duration. It is also a tool to aid fat loss when inconjunction with the right eating habits. Do understand you cannot outexercise a bad diet. The maths dont add up, the effort done from a 30 minute run for most people can be eaten in 30 seconds.
  • Resistance / weight training – Everyone should be doing this in some form as the benefits on health are fantastic. For body composition changes it is also powerful. You do not need to use a gym to train as your body weight is more than enough for almost all exercises if you know how to do it properly without equipment.
  • Massage technique – Feeling good is as much about posture and joint alignment as anything else. To get this into position you can use certain targeted massage strategies. Through using a tennis ball and/or foam roller you can really aid and improve posture
  • Exercise frequency – In the same way I call myself a practical nutritionist I am also a practical personal trainer. Exercise plans for most people need to be short and under 30 minutes or so. This allows daily exercise sessions to be much more realistic. I never have a minimum threshold on exercise, if 10 minutes is all you have, do it for 10 minutes!
  • Exercise intensity – How hard you exercise has to be related to mood and motivation before the session. If you are feeling drained then the exercise must be easy and of low intensity. If feeling pumped and focused then step it up. The failure of people to match intensity to feeling is one of the top reasons they are inconsistent with their training.
  • Enjoying exercise – Most people hate exercise because they do not know how to do it, have never experimented with different types and fall for the two biggest reasons not to exercise – “minimum time before it is worthwhile” and “minimum effort level”. When you address these elements everyone can learn to enjoy exercise. But like learning to drive a car, the first couple of lessons may not be the most enjoyable thing in the world but over time you can LEARN to enjoy it. You can learn to do anything!!
  • Exercise Classes – There are pros and cons to classes. Whether they are right for you depends on your own circumstance. The pro’s are you may enjoy them more, you do it in a group, they force you to train harder. The cons are they take much longer than your own quick 20 minute session, you are restricted to certain times and the fitness progression over time is normally limited.
  • Yoga/pilates/Zumba/CRoss Fit – All classes have pros and cons, the only thing that counts are results. See how the common exercise types fit into the fundamentals of exercise here>>.
  • Fitness testing – Fitness without fitness data is a bad idea. Without measurement you are missing out on the motivation of improvements and you are unable to measure the effectiveness of your fitness progress. I use the fitness profile test with all my clients.
  • Fitness Profile Test – A comprehensive evaluation of 25 different fitness measures. This test can be done in about 45 minutes and will tell you all you need to know about your body and reveals which areas have weaknesses. The test is not tiring or fatiguing like most people imagine fitness tests (we are not in the army). It is more an observation and not a stress test.
  • Gyms – They serve a purpose, personally I love them. Most people hate them. They are convenient location to get results but the same results can be obtained training in a park or at home for most people. The key is doing the exercise, the location is a secondary factor.
  • Outdoor training -The great outdoors gives you everything you need to get results. For most people though they will need to learn what to do as it is not quite as obvious as in a gym. Once learnt though there is no difference in results for most people.
  • Training at home – This can be like gym training or be more similar to outdorrs in regards to faciltities to use. The only thing that matters is getting the sessions done and you can do this at home, outside or in a gym.

Summary

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Watch me being interviewed on the BBC 1 Breakfast show discussing milk and the plans to stop milk for under 5 years old’s.